The Family

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The Family

Band details

Assembled: 1984
Disbanded: 1985
Activity with Prince: 1984 - 1985
Live Performances
First live appearance w/Prince:
  • 13 August 1985: Minneapolis, MN, USA – First Avenue
Performed regularly on tour:
  • none
Performed occasionally in shows:
  • 1985
With Prince:
  • None.
With Prince's Associates:
  • None.
Self Productions w/Prince:
  • Albums
1985 The Family (Paisley Park)


1985 The Screams Of Passion
1985 High Fashion

The Family is a group that was put together by Prince out of the remaining members of The Time when that band broke up in 1984. The group featured The Time drummer Jellybean Johnson and The Time’s Jerome Benton on percussion, while the band’s keyboardist Paul Peterson was appointed lead singer, together with Prince’s then girlfriend Susannah Melvoin (twin sister of Wendy); these were augmented by Eric Leeds, a saxophonist and flutist whom Prince got to know through his tour manager Alan Leeds, brother of Eric.

Line Up

Additional Band Members:


While the band in the studio was essentially Prince alone with Eric Leeds on sax (in a way exactly how Madhouse started out in late 1986), a band was soon made up of the three members of The Time that were still in Prince’s employ, and fronted by Wendy Melvoin’s twin sister Susannah, whom until then sometimes sang background vocals for Prince.

After having Paul Peterson and Susannah overdub the lead vocals, all tracks were submitted to Clare Fischer for orchestral overdubs, which was the first time Prince worked with him. Susannah suggested to ask him to create orchestral arrangements, being familiar with Fischer’s work through her father, session musician Mike Melvoin.

A live version of the band with Miko Weaver, who came from Sheila E.’s band on guitar, Allen Flowers on bass, Bill Carrothers and another Melvoin sibling Jonathan on keyboards and former bodyguards Wally Safford and Greg Brooks as dancers and background vocalists, played one show at First Avenue, before the group was disbanded. Jerome Benton, Wally Safford and Greg Brooks together with Miko Weaver and Eric Leeds then joined an expanded version of The Revolution in early 1986.


Since the band was created after the fact, apart from Eric Leeds’s saxophone the band wasn’t involved in creating their album to great extent, apart from St. Paul and Susannah, Much like The Time before them. In fact the band drummer Jellybean Johnson, just like on The Time’s early albums is not on any of the record and Jerome Benton’s contributions to The Family are also minimal.


The band never performed live expect for their sole performance at First Avenue on 13 August 1985 for which they rehearsed about a month. An idea to have violas and cellos in the live line-up to reproduce Clare Fischer’s orchestral arrangements was abandoned.

Additional Information

See also Trivia

Grand Central All Biographies Prince Biography The Flesh